Friday, June 27, 2008

Review: Funny Games

I found this film at Blockbuster yesterday and picked it up, because I recalled reading a short article on the film. It uses a similar concept as the recently released The Strangers (the Liv Tyler movie), only this one doesn't tout itself as being based on a true story. Rather, it's based on a 1997 Austrian version of the same movie, filmed by the same director.

Dude. *hides*

I love horror films. Have since I was a kid. So it's hard to find a horror film in today's market that does anything for me. Most are your typical slasher film (Jason X), others try to be psychological with their torture (Saw franchise). But other than some queasy, cover-my-eyes gore, I tend to watch them with mild amusement.

Not this one. The villains are so....calm. The setting so ordinary. It started with four eggs.

Naomi Watts and Tim Roth played the average married couple, with a young son, who are taken hostage in their own home by a pair of sociopathic affluent twentysomethings. They both give outstanding performances. Very subtle, but effective.

There was no on-camera gore, but I found myself clutching the remote and barely breathing for the last forty minutes of the movie. It was not your typical Hollywood ending (which makes sense, since the source material is from Austria), and I liked the unpredictability of the deaths. Even the odd to-the-camera comments were interesting.

My only real complaint were the overuse of wide, static shots. The characters were so small on screen at certain times I couldn't see what they were doing. Rather than creating suspense, I was frustrated and bored. But beyond that, wow. First really good horror film I've seen in a while.

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